READERS DISCUSS: DIDO responsibility for driver fatigue

A MINER finished working a 75-hour week at Foxleigh mine near Middlemount had only finished his last night shift at 6.30am.

But less than four hours later Donald Welch, a former miner, said he had to leave his accommodation and drive almost 1000km home - a journey he never made, after crashing his car on the way there.

Who do you think should be responsible for miner's driving fatigue?

This poll ended on 03 April 2015.

Current Results

Mining companies


Camp owners


The individual miners


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Welch is now suing Anglo Coal, the owner of Foxleigh mine, and Workpac, a labour hire business that supplied staff for the mine, for $1,089,897.

This is what readers had to say on The Bulletin's Facebook page:

Kath Mitchell - Did his employer hold a gun against his head and tell him he MUST drive tired?? It is about time this person took responsibility for his actions and stop trying to lay blame on his employer.

Chris Harrigan - You need to do it before u comment. Most if the mines are so isolated. When you come off shift you should be able to rest in your camp bed not turfed out as they did!

Kath Mitchell - Chris are you also saying that there are not coaches put on to get these employees back to the major towns so as they don't have to drive?? I also don't need to "Do it" as you say before I comment. I have a fair bit of knowledge to do with fatigue driving and mining companies responsibilities.

Lisa Alexander - Considering the mining industry expect 12 hr shifts usually just like a job in town in the construction industry what an idiot, can't cope don't work out there. A normal week for 7 day roster is 84hrs min for most! If you have accommodation you don't get kicked out of your room every swing so he could've had slept for as long as he needed to refresh before driving, his choice to drive tired, so don't blame the employer!!

Jennifer Cartmill - Where is his duty of care...or just some common sense? Its so typical these days to place the blame elsewhere.

Sarah Michelle Stewart - Money hungry use your brain

Karen Karen - My hubby is meant 2 be outter his room as well after last shift but he never does sleeps till his ready 2 leave and no1 ever questions it ...if he was tired he should of stayed asleep especially cause he knew he would be driving 10 hrs...n then if the company question why his not outter his room on time he can pull the fatigue card rather then risk driving and putting other people at risk

Jay Sandi Parter - Good One!! It's about time they started standing up for themselves!

Joanne Coulter - If he stood up for himself he would not have gotten in the car. what if he had killed someone else. Also would like to know if he had the opportunity of knocking back work. Many take on work for the money but when things go wrong they are the first ones to blame everyone else.

Jennifer Amott - Sorry Joanne not as black and white as that. The employer has all the rights and no responsibility. More and more workers are terrified of the sack. My husband would have slept regardless but we don't know what happened at his place of work
From personal experience the company can do what they like Health and safety as become a joke.

Kayleen Grice - Agree Joanna Coulter, people have to take responsibility for themselves .. Fatigue management.. He knew he wasn't right to drive and should have rested, instead he put ever road user at risk.. He gets a huge wage so pay for a nights sleep... I'm a taxi owner/driver and our takings have been down 40% for the last 2 years and if I'm tired I don't drive.

Read more comments here: 

A Middlemount miner is suing his employer for $1 million after he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car following a 75-hour week:

Posted by The Morning Bulletin on Friday, 27 March 2015

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